Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

The cephalopod statolithan-introduction to its form

Malcolm R. Clarkea1

a1 The Laboratory, Marine Biological Association, Citadel Hill, Plymouth

Terms, dimensions and ratios for statolith description are defined. The form of the calcareousstatoliths in the Teuthoidea, Sepiodea and Octopoda is described by reference to Loligo forbesi, Sepia officinalis and Eledone cirrosa. While statoliths change in form and size during the growth of a cephalopod, the adult form is often characteristic for a species, despite some variation. Description of statoliths is important in studies of the fossil remains of cephalopods lacking calcareous shells, and will probably become important in the taxonomy of living species, in food analysis of cephalopod predators and in the study of deep sea deposits.